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Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars (EA LA, 2007) is the third mainline installment of the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series.

Set seventeen years after its predecessor, Tiberian Sun in a starkly stratified world. GDI has succeeded in containing Tiberium in areas dubbed Blue Zones, which are bastions of civilization and relative paradises compared to the rest of the planet. Yellow Zones are lawless wastelands where daily life is a struggle and Nod is seen as the last hope of the common man. Red Zones, meanwhile, have been wholly xenoformed by Tiberium and are storm-wracked hells lethal to humans. Kane reemerges once more to launch a surprise attack on a complacent GDI, whose retaliation has an unintended side effect - an alien race called the Scrin suddenly invades, seeking to harvest Earth's Tiberium bounty (which they call "Ichor"). It gets worse: turns out the Scrin are the direct cause of the Tiberium infestation, and that it's part of a massive Tiberium mining racket. The aliens are narrowly driven off, while Kane succeeds in his plan to acquire their technology.

An Expansion Pack, Kane's Wrath, introduced sub-factions to the three sides and had a Nod-centric campaign telling the story between Firestorm and Tiberium Wars, and what came after. It also details Kane's reacquisition of the Tacitus artifact from GDI, who had taken possession of it in Tiberian Sun.

Please note that this page is for tropes that feature in this game and its expansion only. Please add tropes relating to other games as well on the main Tiberian Series page.


This game contains examples of:

  • Airborne Artillery: The Scrin Devastator is a capital class spaceship, whose plasma cannon outranges everything else except artillery units, but those can't target airborne units.
  • Airstrip One: Downplayed. The various Zones that the Tiberium-wracked world is divided into are formally given bland designations, such as Yellow Zone Y-4 for the Australian Outback. On the other hand, the old names are still commonly used by both GDI and Nod, whether due to persistent national identities in Blue Zones like England, the Brotherhood's view that it's a cynical means of exploitation, for out of pure convenience by both sides.
  • Ambiguous Robots: The Scrin appear to be attack drones in the form of various insects, whose weaponry and technological parts are not so much added to them as to be part of their body in the first place. At the same time, they appear to have blood, and various in game sources mention selective breeding.
  • Action Bomb: Fanatics - suicide bombers used by Nod.
  • Alien Invasion: Invoked by Kane with the Scrin. Except it's not really an invasion, but they try to make it look like one, to divert attention from their mining operations. Kane is aware of this, and they are not aware that they have been brought to earth earlier than they planned.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: The Scrin use a satellite news broadcast to learn English; it takes them less than 10 seconds. It comes in mighty handy when they come across a classified transmission by Kane, explaining his scheme.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: The Xbox port has a command point limit. The only example in the whole series until the console version of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3.
  • Artifact Title: In-Universe. Plasma cannons can be modified to shoot Tiberium bullets. They're still called plasma cannons.
  • Artificial Brilliance: It depends on the A.I. personality, but even an easy-level Scrin A.I. opponent in skirmish mode might surprise you with the dreaded "Disintegrator Rush" tactic.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The auto-battle "tactical" A.I. for global conquest isn't exactly the best at evaluating who wins battles. For instance, a single firehawk strikeforce is enough to take down ANY other strikeforce as long as it can't target air, but if you did a real time battle, that firehawk would maybe pick off 2 or 3 units before being rushed at its landing pad.
  • Artificial Zombie: The Marked of Kane is a Nod subfaction comprised entirely of these, based on the C.A.B.A.L. supercomputer's cybernetic experiments in the previous game. Regular Nod has the ability to deploy a Support Power that turns corpses into Awakened.
  • Attack Drone/Mecha-Mooks: The Scrin "army" (actually an escort for the mining fleet) seems to be composed of automated troops commanded by Scrin Foremen in spaceborne Motherships. All of their units and even their buildings immediately shutdown and decompose once their Relay Node is destroyed.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: GDI Harvesters, although equipped with machine guns (and in Kane's Wrath, Rocket launchers or a bunker depending on subfaction), will abandon all offensive commands when faced with even a small deposit of shiny Tiberium crystals
  • Awesome, yet Impractical:
    • The Titan and Wolverine Mechs and Powered Armor, which is why GDI went back to tanks and jeeps in this game.
    • The Nod Avatar's ability to absorb the powers of different Nod units by sacrificing them, which puts all your eggs in one admittedly powerful basket. You're probably better off just using the units themselves alongside the Avatar.
    • The Mammoth Tank lost its Mighty Glacier stats due to Competitive Balance issues and became more of a Stone Wall. This made the Mammoth much more impractical due to being very slow, but lacking firepower to compensate, making the Mammoth more of a niche unit.
    • The Scrin Mothership is capable of leveling entire enemy installations with a single blast of its catalyst cannon. But it moves slower than a disabled snail and has no other weapons to defend itself. Pawing a way for it requires massive space fleet and in that case you're better off using the fleet to destroy your enemy instead.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Reaper-17 sub-faction of the Scrin. According to game lore, the Reaper-17 engage in self-mutilation and self-infusion with tiberium that goes way beyond typical Scrin standards. This, and their extremely violent nature makes them outcasts even among the Scrin.
  • Better the Devil You Know: During the recapture of Cologne, a GDI soldier comments that while he doesn't miss Nod one bit, he at least appreciates the Brotherhood militants as being humans, unlike the city's alien occupiers.
  • Benevolent A.I.: Despite its faction, the Scrin Mothership's AI is actually even more benevolent than GDI's EVA units, putting the survival of its Foreman before the success of the mission. It repeatedly advises the Foreman to scrub the invasion after determining how woefully under-equipped the harvesting force is against GDI, sasses and contradicts the Supervisor when the latter wants to further reduce their chances of survival by diverting troops to looking for information about Kane and when the Supervisor actively invokes We Have Reserves on the Foreman, the AI summarily proceeds to cut him out of the chain of command and start making arrangements for the Foreman's escape instead.
    Supervisor: This entire harvesting operation is expendable! Overlord ORDERS more information on Kane!
    AI: (cuts transmission) Order dismissed.
  • Bio-Augmentation: Nod's *finally* perfected a method of adding Tiberium to the human genome without causing radical mutations, something they've been trying to do In-Universe since 1995. In game terms, it's the Tiberium Infusion upgrade, which gives Militia immunity to tiberium exposure and increased HP and run speed. They also exhale tiberium vapour.
  • Body Horror: Naturally, the results of Tiberium poisoning and mutations aren't very pretty, as demonstrated by the mutants.
  • Book Ends: In his introduction, Ajay states how much he envies your position. In his final scene, he states he does not envy you anymore.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Both GDI and Nod rocket-armed infantry is cheap and incredibly effective against mobile armor. Masses of Nod Militant Rocket Squads are the most formiddable menace for GDI Mammoths.
    • The Scrin Disintegrators. They are a cheap, quick to train anti-vehicle and anti-structure infantry unit that can be produced in mass numbers. As part of an early game rush, the Disintegrators can surprise and overwhelm an opponent who isn't paying attention.
    • The Nod Venom patrol craft. They can detect stealth and have a chaingun that's quite effective against infantry; making them effective at sniffing out GDI's Sniper Teams. Venoms can also attack other air units. And after upgrading with lasers, they are arguably the best counter to the Scrin's Planetary Assault Carriers, which are otherwise nigh-unstoppable. All this, and reasonably cheap and quick to train, too.
  • Bread and Circuses: Nod for the people in the Yellow Zones in Tiberium Wars. Overlaps with Villain with Good Publicity.
  • Break the Haughty: What happens to the separatist leader in the first mission of Kane's Wrath.
    • Before:
    "Who dares challenge our supremacy? The Brotherhod is dead! Rotting with the heretic, Kane! We are the true heirs of Nod as it is written! Repent! Withdraw! Or join your fool prophet in oblivion."
    • After:
    "Brother... friend, I beseech you, cease your assault... We'll lay our weapon at your feet, and swear fidelity, in the name of Kane, the one true prophet!... I beg you... I beg you! Spare our lives!"
  • Bittersweet Ending: If GDI deploys the Liquid Tiberium bomb, they end up repelling the Scrin, but twenty five million people are killed by the chain reaction. Even if GDI doesn't which leads to Boyle being forced to resign to avoid being tried for war crimes, however, winning the Third Tiberium War is still bittersweet as many lives are still lost amidst the fighting.
  • Bug War: The Scrin are the bug race of the three factions in the game, since their army is made of robotic/biological insectoid units. They came here not to consume us, but to turn the planet into a source of Tiberium, which is vital for them. It is the Tiberium itself that would have consumed us. They didn't see Kane coming, though...
  • Canon Immigrant: The Philadelphia being destroyed by nukes was first seen in the non-canonical Nod ending of Tiberian Sun.
  • Converging-Stream Weapon: A special property of Beam Cannons is that two can merge their beams together, increasing the attack power but reducing the number of targets hit. They can be ordered to Force Attack an Obelisk of Light too.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Some mission objectives are repeated over and over again even if there is no particular time pressure, and the objectives are presented well enough as is.
    EVA: GDI forces are under attack from Nod. Send aid to the northern section of the city and rescue them.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • GDI's mechas from Tiberian Sun make a return in the expansion, now fielded by one of the subfactions. This is justified by the timeline, as Kane's Wrath first act is chronologically a prequel to Tiberium Wars.
    Nod Militant: A TITAN?! I haven't seen one of those since Tib War 2!
    • Nod can research an upgrade that infuses Tiberium into the body, enhancing infantry and making them immune to the effects of exposure without the side-effects. Seems like Kane and his scientists had worked the kinks out of Tiberian Sun's Divination.
    • In Kane's Wrath, GDI's Rocky Mountains Complex which contains the Tacitus is protected by an upgraded Firestorm Generator.
    • Also from Kane's Wrath, the Steel Talons' emblem is clearly based on GDI's logo from Tiberian Sun. Justified, given that the subfaction uses upgraded versions of Second Tiberium War equipment.
    • The Marked of Kane from Kane's Wrath in general are evidently more refined versions of the cyborgs from Tiberian Sun and Firestorm which unlike CABAL's minions, remain loyal to the Brotherhood and Kane specifically.
  • Crapsack World: Tiberium's effects on the Earth are so damaging that by 2047, 20% of Earth's surface is uninhabitable to humans, and most of it remains dangerous to humans. However, the game actually plays quite a bit with this trope. The Yellow Zones, comprising 50% of the Earth's surface, play this pretty straight, being heavily contaminated with Tiberium. However, the few Nod cities, all in the Yellow Zones, seem to be full-on Crystal Spires and Togas, with lots of knee-high fog, ominous red lighting, and polished black surfaces. The Red Zones actually avert this, since those areas are outright death worlds. The Blue Zones completely avert it, being almost utopian, having the crystal spires but not the togas. In Blue Zones, people have life expectancies over 100 years, incredibly high standards of living, full employment, virtually no crime, spotless cities, pristine forests and other wildlands, routine spaceflight, and quantum computers, all powered by Tiberium.
  • Decapitation Strike:
    • One of Nod's first acts is to destroy the GDI space station Philadelphia, with almost the entire GDI leadership onboard, with the exception of Secretary of the Treasury, Redmond Boyle.
    • Boyle himself tries doing the same to Nod's leadership by ordering an Ion Cannon strike on Temple Prime, even "pulling rank" despite Granger's warnings. This winds up not only detonating a Liquid Tiberium deposit hidden beneath the complex, but also attracting the Scrin.
  • Developer's Foresight: GDI Campaign, mission 10: Albania. Even if you pre-emptively took down both Nod Air Towers a single Nod Venom patrol aircraft will spawn by north-eastern map border just so you can get that one bonus objectivenote .
  • Didn't See That Coming: In Kane's Wrath, Kane's reaction when Alexa says she set up Kilian Qatar is genuine surprise.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Blue, Yellow, and Red Zones more or less correlate to present-day first world, second world, and third-world regions, respectively. The colored zones are also likely a reference to the color-coded zone system the U.S. military used after the 2003 Iraq War to designate the relative safety of various locations, with "Green Zone" referring to a 10-square kilometer area in Baghdad, and "Red Zone" referring to everywhere else.
  • Dual Mode Unit:
    • In this game, all factions' MCV units can pack-up and roll out any time even in singleplayer and then deploy again at a new location. Over and over again.
    • GDI Rig can deploy into a stationary defense platform to become combat-capable, and back again to become mobile.
    • GDI Firehawks can be armed with either bombs or anti-air missiles at the airbase.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Played With. GDI manages to shut down the Scrin invasion of Earth after a lot of effort and massive destruction across the globe, and while still fighting Nod. It's revealed, however, that the "Alien Invasion" was little more than a mining operation with security escorts made to look like one in an attempt to divert attention away from their actual purpose. That said, it's still telling how despite that, the Scrin still viewed humanity as enough of an existential threat to specifically target for elimination, calling Earth's sentient life "warlike to the extreme."
  • Easy Level Trick: In Global Conquest the "Auto-resolve" option for battle situations doesn't account for airport-bound aircraft to actually require airport. In other words, a single Fire Hawk/Vertigo can obliterate entire enemy force if there are no Anti-Air units in it (to counter the aircraft) even though in real-time the aircraft would be put out of commission rapidly, by the enemy storming the airfield. Using Auto-Resolve in this situation nets you an easy and guaranteed win.
  • Enemy Mine: Very briefly during the initial stages of the Scrin's invasion, GDI and Nod both join forces against the aliens until Kane orders the Brotherhood strike at both the Scrin and GDI as part of his scheme.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: In the Nod campaign mission "Sarajevo", the Nod Commander was betrayed by the Nod dissidents.
  • Evil Sounds Deep:
    • Many Nod units, such as the Avatar, the Purifier, and the Redeemer, have really deep sounding voice.
    • The Scrin Supervisor has an incredibly deep voice, and, fittingly enough, the Overlord has an even deeper one.
  • Expy:
  • Gaia's Lament: Most of the world's more beautiful ecoregions have been either turned into wastelands (the war-torn Yellow Zones) or outright terraformed by Tiberium (the Red Zones). Notable examples seen in-game include the Amazon Desert and the Italian Red Zone.
  • Game Mod: Quite a few have been made. The most popular ones include...
    • Tiberium Essence, which revamps the game to be much more like an updated Tiberian Sun while keeping the general premise intact. Recent updates indicate that the Forgotten and C.A.B.A.L. will become factions four and five.
    • Mideast Crisis 2, a sequel to a Command & Conquer: Generals mod involving a near-future conflict in the Middle East.
    • The Forgotten brings back the Tiberium-mutated faction from Tiberian Sun, complete with its own fleshed-out campaign and full-motion video cutscenes.
    • One Vision is a rebalancing mod for Kane's Wrath aiming to bring all 9 subfaction closer in power level as well as making them more distinctive.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In-game, Tiberium doesn't spread all over the place but only inside a limited radius around a vein. This is, of course, a gameplay consideration to prevent the entire map from being overrun by a resource generating crystal.
  • Gemstone Assault: The scrin upgrade for their plasma cannons is to have them fire tiberium shards.
    • In the expansion, this is extended to Reaper-17's tanks, and the baseline Scrin's Ravager.
  • Gem Tissue: Ravagers have tiberium crystals growing on them.
  • Glass Cannon: Scrin Buzzers can take out entire infantry units almost instantly, but it doesn't take much for them to go down either.
  • Hollywood Science: In the novelization, radioactive rainwater kills plants and trees within minutes while also leaving the rest of the landscape, including the people who live in the area, unaffected.
  • Humans Are Warriors: Why the harvesting operation goes bad for the Scrin. While it's true that the Scrin's "invasion" was actually just a mining operation that harvests Tiberium-infested planets when all the inhabitants are dead, they still view humanity as "warlike to the extreme" and a major threat to the survival of their entire race.
  • Humongous Mecha: GDI's Juggernaut, Nod's Avatar and Scrin's Tripod, straight out of The War of the Worlds.
    • Downplayed when compared to the previous game, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. With the exception of the Juggernaut, GDI retired all of its Tiberian Sun-era walker units in the intervening years. The Intelligence Database gives justification for the changes—one article discusses the retirement of the Mammoth Mk. II (to the rage of Nick "Havoc" Parker) while another on GDI's Commandos gives one of several reasons why: GDI Commandos figured out how to easily take walkers down by attaching det packs to their legs. This led to concern that Nod's elite units could easily do the same—and, of course, they very much can. Juggernauts escaped the axe because, as artillery units, they're less likely to be threatened by this strategy compared to a Titan, Wolverine, or Mammoth Mk. II.
    • The Steel Talons bring back several of GDI's Tiberian Sun-era walkers in the Kane's Wrath expansion. Given the expansion is a prequel to the base game, however, it's more that they're one of the last holdouts of Tiberian Sun-era weapons rather than being a revival.
  • Hypocrite: Kane and his followers simultaneously exalt the wonders of Tiberium, while excoriating GDI for walling itself off in Tiberium-free Blue Zones.
  • Idle Animation: The Juggernaut has two funny idle animations where they would either peck on the ground with their cannons like a chicken (a fun little Visual Pun) or the much rare animation where one of their legs scratch their cockpit much like a cat.
  • Informed Equipment: Averted. Guns get bulkier, reinforced barrels from weapon upgrades, Tiberium enhanced Super Soldiers start exhaling green gas, tanks get bulldozer blades, etc. Moreover, the prototype version of the upgrade appears on the relevant research building.
  • Instant-Win Condition: In skirmish/multiplayer, destroying all your rival's buildings and MCVs means victory. Even if they still have a large army on the map.
    • The Kane's Wrath-exclusive Global Conquest mode has an alternate victory condition for the three factions. Going for these conditions may be easier than attempting to annihilate the other two factions.
      • GDI: Have 33% of the map be within your bases' influence.
      • NOD: Get 22 cities to full unrest
      • Scrin: Construct 9 Threshold Towers.
  • Irony: In Kane's Wrath, a new sub-faction called the Steel Talons was introduced. One of the primary reasons they were created is in preparation for the possibility of the Brotherhood of Nod becoming a threat again. However they've proven themselves to be pretty lacking that they weren't publicly around when the the Third Tiberium War happened. The very thing they were supposed to be preparing for.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness:
    • This is one of the few games in the Command & Conquer franchise, alongside Command & Conquer: Generals, to not have any involvement from composer Frank Klepacki regarding its soundtrack. Even Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 had Klepacki compose a few songs for the game.
    • Alongside Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, the radar is immediately online without the need of a dedicated structure.
    • The Service Depot is phased out in favor of automated repair drones for the War Factories and Airfields. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 would follow suit.
    • This game introduced the concept of Airborne Artillery with the Scrin faction's Devastator Warship and Planetary Assault Carrier. The Scrin are also notable for having a comprehensive armada that doesn't require resupply landings, something that was experimented with in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 with only the Allies having a reload mechanic on their jets.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: Weaponized by Nod, by using the Venom aircraft and Beam Cannon artillery in conjunction. The Venom's special ability is to call on a nearby Beam Cannon to shoot at it, whereupon it uses its belly-mounted mirror to bounce the laser at a target, effectively doubling its range. This can be chained to other Venoms, until you have a Beam Cannon or two sitting at home bouncing its lasers off an entire network of Venoms.
  • Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair: GDI soldiers' lamentations while the Scrin raze Munich to the ground.
    GDI Soldier: And we thought we were alone in the universe! Oh, the hubris!
  • Lore Codex: Unit dossiers, which show a high-resolution image of a unit while telling the player the lore surrounding it.
  • Mle Trois: Kane plans to "call in" a third party after starting the Third Tiberium War with GDI. During the chaos of the Scrin Alien Invasion, Kane intends to capture technology from the invaders for his long term goals. The final act of the game has each faction battling the other two with GDI cutting off the Scrin Invasion at the source and Nod capturing the aforementioned Scrin technology.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: For whatever reason the enemy Scrin Mastermind in GDI mission 16 at Rome has a rapid fire pulse gun able to target both ground and airborne units alike. When you play as Scrin, the Mastermind's only "weapon" is the obvious Mind Control. No rapid-fire pulse gun for you.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The GDI campaign has many homages to the Soviet Campaign from Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, including a first mission involving the Pentagon and a virtually identical opening to the second mission.
    • The theme tune for the "William Frank Hour" talk show is the same theme tune used for BNN News in Command & Conquer: Generals Zero Hour.
    • Occasionally, GDI's Juggernauts will confirm a Bombardment order by loudly declaring, "Bombardment!" The pilots say this in the exact same tone as the PA announcements from the American Strategy Center in Command & Conquer: Generals, which has its own Bombardment ability.
    • Both the Nod Scorpion tank and Emissary will reuse some lines spoken by GLA units from Command & Conquer: Generals.
    • Upon encountering Steel Talon walkers in the first act of Kane's Wrath, a Nod soldier remarks how they hadn't seen them in action since "Tib War 2".
  • Monumental Damage: The Scrin mission in London has the destruction of The Big Ben and of The Houses of Parliament, precisely because they are significant to the humans. After all, the Scrin campaign mentions that the Foreman needs to distract the human factions so that at least ONE Scrin Tower can be completed.
  • Mook Commander: Nod's basic Infantry squads can be upgraded to have a "Confessor" in the squad who will improve the combat power of not only the squad's members, but all nearby units. The combat buff ability was reused for the Black Hand faction in the Kane's Wrath Expansion Pack in the form of "Confessor Cabals" (entire squads of Confessors), the Purifier (a Mech with flamethrowers on it) and the Voice of Kane (a statue of Nod's leader).
  • Never My Fault: A particularly amusing example in the beginning of the Tiberium Wars Nod campaign, where Killian goes on and on about how wonderful the Brotherhood is for spreading Tiberium to those who needed it most... before bitching out GDI for leaving them with all the Tiberium-infected territory. Someone never took lessons on cause and effect, it seems.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Boyle ordering the use of the ion cannon on Temple Prime, which was exactly what Kane was goading him into doing.
    • The player character, if he decides to use the liquid Tiberium bomb at the end of the game.
    • The Scrin Foreman's rather ill-judged attacks.
    • ZOCOM's decision in Kane's Wrath to shoot down the Nod transport with a kidnapped Dr. Giraud aboard in order to deny Kane access to valuable intel winds up leading to his outright defection to the Brotherhood and indirectly results in the Liquid Tiberium deposits being stashed underneath Temple Prime, whare are later detonated inadvertedly by GDI.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted; both GDI and Nod have playable campaigns. No Canon for the Wicked is similarly averted, as both campaigns are canon and occur within the relatively same timeframe. There's also an unlockable Scrin campaign for when you've finished those two that is also canon. Inverted in Kane's Wrath: The bad guys are the only campaign available.
  • Novelization: There is one.
  • One World Order: While GDI still has member states, by 2047 it's long since replaced the UN and the old national governments as both a political and military powerhouse.
  • Press X to Die: You lose if you have no buildings. You can sell all your buildings, including the last one.
  • Power Makes Your Voice Deep: As a general rule, more powerful units have deeper voices. The trend is most noticeable when comparing exceptionally weak units like Militant Squads (the voice of which nearly cracks at times) with heavy armour like the Mammoth Tank or Avatar Warmech. This is taken up to eleven with the Mammoth Armed Reclamation Vehicle, a super-super-heavy tank with an onboard Tiberium refinery, which has an exceptionally deep voice with an added echo. Fittingly enough, it's also equipped with sonic weaponry.
  • Puppet King: Kane's Wrath reveals that Marcion of the Black Hand becomes this for Kane while he bides his time, serving as one of Nod's public faces instead of being killed for seeming "betrayal".
  • Puny Earthlings: Played With. All humans have to use equipment or cybernetics to fight, the Scrin spit corrosive chemicals, control minds and fire energy out of their bodies. On the other hand, Scrin are critically dependent on Tiberium and Tiberium radiation for survival; without it they will literally shrivel up and stop moving, and they seeded Earth with the stuff specifically to harvest ever more of the precious material. Kane goes so far as to call them "a cult of addiction in the guise of a species", implicitly comparing their entire invasion to a druggie sticking up their neighbors for money.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: Following the events of Firestorm, the Brotherhood is broken into various factions (again). In Kane's Wrath, we see the Marcion-led Black Hand, who turns takes the Church Militant aspects of the group to the forefront.
  • Resigned in Disgrace: Should you choose to deploy the liquid Tiberium bomb at the end of the GDI campaign, Lieutenant General Jack Granger chews you out but is unable to court martial you due to Redmond Boyle labelling you as a hero. Afterward, Boyle tells you that General Granger resigned and he plans to have you take the latter's place. On the flipside, if you don't use it, Boyle is the one who's forced to resign or face charges of war crimes.
  • Ridiculously Potent Explosive: Weaponized Liquid Tiberium puts nuclear devices to shame if properly detonated. The entire third Tiberium War started and orchestrated by Kane so that GDI would provide that detonator by way of their Ion Cannon - the resultant blast sends crust material thousands of kilometers into space, along with Tiberium radiation spreading even farther - it's a big enough boom that the Scrin harvesting fleets take notice and deduce that Tiberium has reached the planet's mantle, and is ready for harvesting.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale:
    • The Hammerhead Gunship from Kane's Wrath might as well be a TARDIS in the shape of a helicopter. According to the Intelligence Database, it can transport an entire regiment and still has enough storage capacity left to "operate in the field for days at a time without needing to either refuel or rearm". In the actual game, however, they can only carry a single squad of infantry.
    • The explosion from the Liquid Tiberium Bomb is so immense in the cutscene that it should have travelled around the globe multiple times, eradicating all multi-cellular life in the process. But apparently it 'only' produced a quarter-World-Wrecking Wave
  • Sealed Army in a Can: The Marked of Kane subfaction was first forged at the end of the Second Tiberium War and kept hidden from CABAL and the wider world until Kane himself decides to awaken it.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Unlike the first two games (which had mutually exclusive storylines), all three campaigns happen concurrently (with the Scrin popping up toward the end).
  • Starfish Aliens: The Scrin. So alien in fact, that we don't even know how they look like. All we get is the shimmering, cephalopoidal avatar of the Supervisor during his Warp-Link transmissions.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: The Philadelphia space station, once GDI's central command prominently shown through Tiberian Sun, is destroyed in the prologue of the story.
  • Strategic Asset Capture Mechanic: Features Tiberium Spikes (which grant minimal passive income), Silos (a one-time cash bonus), EMP Control Centers (which grant a special Support Power), Subway Stations (a Tunnel Network), Mutant Hovels (which let you hire Mutant Marauders) and defense towers.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Technology: Lampshaded by one GDI soldier during the Berne mission, when the Scrin's defenses are first seen.
    GDI Soldier 1: What the hell is that?!
    GDI Soldier 2: Looks like some kind of localized ion storm.
    GDI Soldier 1: But that's impossible!
    GDI Soldier 2: Tell that to the aliens!
  • Suicide Attack: Nod Fanatics are suicide bombers hopped up on Tiberium infusions and religious zeal.
  • Tactical Superweapon Unit: The Kane's Wrath expansion introduced each side to a huge war machine fully capable of fighting the entire enemy army and their base by its lonesome. They require a specialized War Factory to assemble. They are armed with a devastating weapon out-of-the-box and the option to garrison a number of infantry squads in their "hardpoints" for various effects, as well as a unique gimmick (usually some method of generating income).
    • GDI gets the M.A.R.V. superheavy tank/miner, which sports a tri-barrelled cannon and four hardpoints. It can run over Tiberium deposits to stripmine them - and those Tiberium fields doesn't need to be yours.
    • Nod gets the Redeemer, a gigantic quad-walker with a laser cannon, a Hate Plague beacon, and two hardpoints.
    • The Scrin get the Hexapod, a gigantic organitek Spider Tank with a plasma disc launcher similar to the ones mounted on their Destroyer airships, and three hardpoints. If a unit is killed within a certain radius of it, it automatically recycles them.
  • Third Is 3D: Tiberium Wars makes the Video Game 3D Leap for the RTS saga, evolving the Game Engine (Westwood3D aka SAGE) created for Emperor: Battle for Dune.
  • Title Drop: Kane's Wrath has Kane title dropping two of the missions, "Persuade Him" and "A Grand Gesture".
  • Tomato Surprise: The person Kane was talking to in Kane's Wrath is a computer AI built partially from the remnants of CABAL.
  • Tuckerization: One of the maps, "Black's Big Battle", is likely named for multiplayer designer Greg Black. Ingame art shows a soldier with the nametag "Vessella", a reference to associate producer Jim Vessella.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: This game introduced directional armor to the series, rewarding players who advance and retreat correctly with reduced damage to certain vehicles. Essentially, many vehicles now can engage a reverse gear to help keep their strongest frontal armor facing the enemy.
  • Useless Useful Spell: The Nod Avatar's scavenge ability, which destroys a friendly or enemy unit to get an upgrade, too bad the upgrades are woefully underpowered.
    • It becomes more useful when you use it against Nod forces, either by capturing their husks or during a Nod vs. Nod battle, since you can insta-kill certain enemy vehicles with this ability without having to sacrifice your own.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Kane underwent one after being betrayed at Sarajevo. It starts out as a Tranquil Fury, then progresses into Large Ham, and then returns to Tranquil Fury afterwards until the traitor is dead.
    Kane: "How could my own brothers believe that what transpired at the Temple Prime did not unfold exactly as I had planned. Of course I could not have planned for an ambush BY MY OWN FORCES!!"
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Nod, in the Yellow Zones at least.
  • Washington D.C. Invasion: The first act of the GDI campaign is kicking the Nod invasion back out of the city, starting with the Siege of the Pentagon. Best part? The first act of the Nod campaign (unlocked by beating Act I of GDI's campaign) is the Nod invasion of DC!
  • Weaponized Teleportation: The Scrin have access to the wormhole support power and the rift generator. The wormhole support power does no damage directly, but can be used to instantly transport a land based army form point A to point B. The rift generator meanwhile creates a portal to outer space, sucking in anything nearby and causing intense damage via pressure change.
  • We Have Reserves: After it became clear that the Scrin were fooled by Kane into attacking Earth, the Overlord wanted more information about him, at the expense of the return portals of the Scrin towers for the invading forces. When the Scrin AI pointed this out, the Supervisor angrily told the Foreman to reformat the insubordinate AI and declares that the invading forces are "expendable", commanding the Foreman to focus on Kane instead of defending the towers.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Other than Slavik, the fate of several of the characters in Tiberian Sun are not mentioned. It is presumed that Solomon, etc. died during the Nod attack on Philadelphia.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: If you use the liquid Tiberium bomb in the last GDI mission in Tiberium Wars, you end up killing over twenty million people. Granger immediately calls you out on it and accuses you of being a war criminal.
  • Where It All Began: The final mission of the GDI campaign sees you fight the Scrin at the Tiber River, the location of the first recorded sight of tiberium infection.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Command And Conquer Tiberium Wars

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Surprise! Alien invasion!

In the midst of securing some nuclear warheads, the Brotherhood of Nod learns the enemy GDI Killsats have been activated... but have been pointed *outward* into space..

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (12 votes)

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Main / OutsideContextProblem

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